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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Responsibility is with the Ministries of:

Ghana's blue print for sustainable socio-economic development is the Vision 2020 document put together by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).  The document recognizes the fact that the only means by which the country's resources can be used efficiently to achieve rapid economic growth while maintaining the integrity of the environment hinges on the integration of Science and Technology in the various programmes.

The NDPC which is the highest planning authority is responsible for coordinating the development programmes of all sectors in a manner as to ensure that sector policies and legislation concerning international cooperation for sustainable development are well coordinated and integrated to achieve the national goal.

Ghana's public administration system has been decentralized to the district level thus making it possible for Districts to take responsibilities for their development programmes and resources in line with Ghana's Vision 2020 programme.  Cities, towns and communities have established bilateral informal relationship with their counterparts in the developed countries for purposes of development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

A Ministry responsible for Regional Integration and Cooperation has been established to fast track Ghana's role in ensuring sub-regional and Regional Integration of socio-economic issues. The country has liberalized its economy and practice free market economy.

Ghana government recognizes the private sector as the engine for the development of the economy and has accordingly hived off a substantial portion of government's activities to the private sectors.  Most state owned enterprises have been divested.  While the country is encouraging private sector investment, Ghanains are not barred from investing in other countries for the promotion of sustainable development.

Ghana has signed and ratified all the global conventions related to environment and sustainable development.  The implementation of these conventions have been integrated into the country's development programmes.  Ghana participates in fora on the global convention related to sustainable development.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

Ghana is a member of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) and encourage the promotion of Regional Integration and Cooperation for environmental protection and sustainable development.  Ghana shares her experience in environmental protection and sustainable development with sister countries on the Continent.

Ghana has signed a number of agreements and has received a number of multilateral supports to promote sustainable development e.g. Multilateral cooperation was received for the implementation of Ghana Environmental Resource Management Programme (GERMP) and the Natural Resource Management Programme (NRMP).

Ghana is signatory to the WTO and is disposed to trade liberalization and globalization.  The country receives a lot of financial resources for development but also mobilizes domestic financial resources as well.

Ghana is disposed to sharing knowledge on environmentally sound technology.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

These institutions and bodies listed below serve on various Inter-Ministerial Policy Advisory Committees which ensure their participation in decision-making.  The inter-Ministerial Committee on which these groups serve are responsible for advising government on issues relating to international cooperation.

The Private Sector is acknowledged    as the engine of growth in Ghana and therefore plays a major role in international cooperation activities.  Private Enterprise Foundation is as a strong umbrella organization for private sector in Ghana.  The Government is now mainly involved in creating the enabling environment for the private sector to function, having hived off most of its functions to the them.

Programmes and Projects   

GEF is supporting the West Africa Cluster, United Nations University Project of collaborative research in People, Land Management and Environmental Change (PLEC).  The project brings farmers and researchers together to demonstrate the application of sustainable development in farming and agro-diversity conservation.

·        The World Bank in collaboration with other Development Partners is funding the Natural Resource Management Programme (NRMP) in Ghana.  The programme is among other things building capacity of various stakeholders involved in the development and management of natural resources to enable them to protect, rehabilitate and sustain ably manage national land, forest and wildlife resources and increase the income of rural communities who own the resources.

·        UNDP/GEF provided funding for the project on phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances.  The project enable the retraining of re-fridgeration technicians and foam manufacturers.

·        UNDP/GEF, NED and the UNFCC Secretariat funded the preparation of a national inventory of Ghana's genetic, species and ecosystem biological diversity as well as National Biodiversity Data Management Project to assess Data needs and capacities and setting up a national management system for biological diversity data and information.

·        IDA provided funding for a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to develop a framework and activities to ensure sustainable biological resource utilization and conservation.

·        The EU supported the establishment and activities of PACIPE in Ghana.  PACIPE is a Regional Technical Assistance Programme and information for the Protection of the Environment.

Technical Assistance Programmes include:

Trading programmes that have been introduced in Ghana include: Trade Liberalization Policy; Free Trade Zone; and ECOWAS.


In 1999, Ghana hosted the informal meeting of Ministers of the Environment.  this forum brought together Misters from all over the world to deliberate on issues of sustainable development. 

At the regional level, Ghana has been participating in African Ministers Conference on Environment which deliberate on sustainable development on the African continent.


Among developed countries - varying levels of commitment

Between a developed and developing country - varying levels of commitment from governments, disparities in application of technologies and in availability of resources, institutional and technical capacity.

Among developing countries - varying levels of commitment among governments, inadequate resources to implement partnership, and inadequate institutional and technical capacities.

Programme areas or issues of Agenda 21 that require most immediate attention for bilateral or multilateral cooperation include; social and economic dimensions, and conservation and management of resources.

Major challenges - understanding the scope of sustainable development, arriving at a consensus that satisfies all partners in realizing sustainable development.

Structural challenges - achieving Sub-regional and Regional Unity, Harmonizing customs and immigration regulations, and Developing a single monetary system.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Ghana has integrated the implementation of all global conventions into national programmes to include the creation of public awareness for the need for closer international cooperation.

Members of the media have been adequately trained and sensitized to use the media to create public awareness on sustainable development. 

Sectors have been sensitized to consider the implications of their policies on sustainable development.  Various sectors carry out Human Resource Needs assessment and provide appropriate training needs required to address their issues in international relations either locally or externally.

Project Administration and Management - Capacity Building Project Administration and Management is being addressed through bilateral and multilateral supported programmes.


Relevant government sectors make the information available to potential users and stakeholders as and when they it becomes available.  Information and data can also be accessed via the internet by those who have access to internet.

Information is shared through the mass media, correspondence and forums.

Research and Technologies   

The use of Science and Technology to rapidly address Ghana's development to improve the quality of life for all while maintaining the integrity of the environment is this country's current priority in development.  Thus, all sectors are being encouraged to use science and technology to address their programme in a sustainable manner.

Government is creating an enabling environment for the private sector to acquire and use environmentally sound technologies through international cooperation.  This is regulatory and enforced.


Credits and Grants.


World Bank, Development Partners, GEF

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This information was provided by the Government of Ghana to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 2001.

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No information is available.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In its capacity as the Ministry responsible for co-coordinating national sustainable development activities in the country, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology has responsibility for activities relating to sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The Environmental Protection Agency has responsibility for promotion the implementation of environmental programmes at the local level. Political responsibility for these activities rests with the District Assemblies and their sub-structures.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

There is no legislation to promote sustainable consumption and production. However, a number of regulatory mechanisms which aim at ensuring the financial self-sufficiency of some of the utility companies, indirectly promote sustainable consumption and production. These mechanisms encourage both consumers and producers to promote efficiency and effective use of resources.

In addition, the use of the Environmental Impact Assessment as an environmental management tool helps in promoting practices leading to sustainable consumption and production.  The only Guidelines which indirectly discourage unsustainable practices and promote sustainable consumption and production are those on the Environmental Impact Assessment. Standards relating to pollutants into the atmosphere (air, water and land) have also been prepared to ensure that production/consumption activities are sustainable.

Though the need for Environmental Impact Assessment is a requirement directed by legislation (Act 490), the EIA Guidelines have been prepared between the Government (through the Environmental Protection Agency) and the private sector. The Guideline and standards are mandatory.

There are no Guidelines specifically intended for consumers.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

There is no single national strategy, policy or work programme to address the issues of sustainable consumption and/or production patterns. These issues are addressed on a sector-by-sector basis.

The specific strategies and policies relating to specific sectors dealing with consumption and consumption patterns include:

Specific issues addressed include:

The pricing of utilities such as water and electricity is such that higher rates tend to be paid the higher the rate of consumption. This pricing arrangement is meant to act as a punitive measure for high consumption of these resources and discourage unsustainable consumption practices. Currently, there are no punitive measures for producers who engage in unsustainable production practices while no incentives are also in place to promote sustainable activities.

No national targets exist for enhancing energy and material efficiency apart from the quality of life where Ghana’s long-term development agenda, Vision 2020, envisages that Ghana will be middle-income country by the year 2020.

Industry is being encouraged to use the ISO 9000 and 14000 standards to govern their production systems. These approaches are currently being used on a voluntary basis.

An activity which has helped in changing unsustainable consumption and production pattern in the country relates to the pricing for utilities such as electricity, water, etc. With the removal of subsidies by the Government for these items, market forces essentially govern their prices. To arrive at these prices, Government has established a Public Utilities Review Commission which reviews the proposals of the Utility companies. Part of the process involves public fora at which the general public has the opportunity to comment on the desirability or otherwise of the proposals. The utilities essentially have to justify the need for such price increases. One issue that constantly comes up at these public fora is the question of efficiency of operations of the utility companies. Through this means the issue of unsustainable production with the Utility companies is addressed. With increasing prices for the utilities, consumers are also forced to use these services more efficiently in order to reduce their expenditure on these items.

Though there has been no scientific assessment of the impact of these arrangements, the readiness with which the water utility company, for instance, reacts to complaints on water leakages is currently better. This implies increased efficiency in the operations of the water utility company.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

The pricing of the utilities generally involve a decision-making process in which all stakeholders are involved. The primary groups contributing to the process include Women, Non-Governmental Organizations, Workers Unions, Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Community and Farmers. However, the extent of involvement in the decision-making process of these Major Groups depends to a large extent on the issues being discussed.

Programmes and Projects 

Energy consumption constitutes a critical area of concern to the Government. A number of programmes are thus being promoted. One specific programme relates to the use of more efficient and low-energy consuming bulbs to replace most of the incandescent bulbs being used in the country. Though these new bulbs are more expensive than the traditional ones, a programme of awareness creation has been mounted as a means of drawing attention to the advantages of the bulbs, which are presently being imported by the Government. The private sector is to take on the importation of these energy-efficient bulbs later.

There is also an on-going programme of energy audits of industrial enterprises to promote the efficient use of energy. After these audits, the industries are assisted to institute the appropriate measures to address the identified problems. This is being undertaken as a partnership with industry.

Other national programmes have been:

These programmes highlight primarily environmental and economic aspects of sustainable consumption and production. There are indirect social benefits from these programmes.


Specific information is not available on current levels of efficiency for the use of energy, water and materials. However, the general trend that has been observed is greater efficiency in the use of these resources by the various consumers.


Some of the constraints that have affected the effective implementation of programmes for promoting sustainable production and consumption practice include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Government, in conjunction with the various Utility companies, has been organizing programmes to draw attention to the need for consumers to be more aware of the implications of unsustainable consumption patterns which is associated with  the need to pay more for the services provided. The programmes also serve to make the public aware of the long-term environmental implications of unsustainable consumption to the country’s natural resources.

The Utility companies, in partnership with the mass media in the country, have been mounting awareness programmes advising consumers on the need to use the utilities efficiently. In addition, environmental and development NGOs have been organizing awareness creation programmes to sensitize the public on unsustainable consumption and production practices.


The various sectors of the economy have developed databases to help in decision-making. Thus, the Environmental Protection Agency has compiled data on the emissions from the various industries in the country as part of the process for formulating standards for the management of industrial activity in the country.

Data is also available on the country’s needs in respect of sectors dealing with forests, agricultural productivity, utilities – energy, water.

The Environmental Protection Agency, through the use of the EIA, monitors the activities of all industries to ensure that they conform to the relevant laws, regulations and standards. In addition, the Agency has established a Compliance Enforcement Network of relevant law enforcement and other agencies to enforce regulations, standards and laws relating to the environment.

Information is only available in hard copy format from offices of the Environmental Protection in all the regions of the country. The information is not available on the Internet.

Though Ghana is taking part in the testing programme for indicators for sustainable development, its is yet to extend this to cover indicators related to consumption and production patterns. It is anticipated that this will be addressed before the testing programme is over.

Research and Technologies   

Clean and environmentally sound technologies are promoted through activities which ensure that industries meet national environmental standards and at the same time promote the more efficient use of resources.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, a Waste Management Stock Exchange is to be established as a means of identifying and making waste available to other consumers who need such waste materials for their production activities. Through this arrangement, wastes generated by one company, for instance, could be identified for use by another company for his production activities. This should help in reducing the quantities and types of wastes generated in the country.

The country’s steel and paper industries, and to some extent the plastic industry, are engaged in programmes of recycling wastes generated in the country.

A number of small-scale aluminum fabrication companies have been assisted to improve on their production systems. Though these programmes were initially meant to address the environmental problems associated with their operations, the improved production systems also led to improve efficiency in the use of materials and reduction in the wastes from the industries.

All programmes for the management of waste relate only to waste generated in the country. The country does not permit the importation of waste processing or disposal.


Funding from the various programmes to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns has generally come from the national budget, private sector support and external finance. A special Environment Fund has also been established to promote general environmental activities in the country.


The national environmental activities, which also address the concerns relating to the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns, are undertaken in a partnership arrangement between public sector institutions and the private sector, including the non-governmental organizations.

The Ministry is also endeavoring to establish in the country a Clean Production Centre to assist industries, especially the small-scale sector, with more efficient systems for producing their goods and this can be realized with UNDP's support. 


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This information was provided by the Government of Ghana to the 7th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1999.

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No information is available.

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No information is available.

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No information is available.

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Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Government Ministries and Agencies responsible for Management and Improvement of the Transport System include:

The Ministry is the main formulator of Transportation Policy but solicits inputs from other Stakeholders in finalizing its policy.  Legislation on Transport is debated in Parliament.  Interested parties also submit comments on transportation legislation placed before parliament.

Public forum and workshops are periodically conducted to solicit views and ideas from the public and local government on transport policy and programmes.  The decentralization process has led to local government's involvement in urban transport projects with respect to the construction and improvement of the transportation system in their respective areas.  Contract awards and project monitoring are undertaken by the Regional and District Tender Boards.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The 1952 Road Traffic ordinance and a number of transport regulation and statues control and regulate the transportation and traffic system.  However, 1952 Road Traffic Act is presently under review since it is out-moded.  The revised draft Road Traffic Regulation will soon be presented before Parliament for consideration.

The new Draft Bill has taken into account the prevailing change in the traffic environment technological advancement in the road transport and traffic and will ensure that sanctions are commensurate with offences committed.

Rules, Regulations, incentive measures, etc. needed to be put in place to induce participation in environmental-friendly transportation are as follows:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The country's Strategies, Policies and Plans have been formulated to meet the stated objectives and the medium term development Plan of Vision 2020 for the Roads and Transport Sector and is guided by its 5 year rolling strategic (2000-2004).  The strategy is to improve on the adequacy, accessibility and efficiency of service delivery in transportation sector by transportation authorities and agencies.  The primary focus of the Plan is Infrastructure Development and Institution/Organizational restructuring aimed at meeting the challenging demands of the anticipated fast growing economy and society as prescribed in Vision 2020.  The integrative strategy for urban planning, rural development and transport need to be improved.  A holistic approach is required to tackle and the deficiencies as within the transportation system.

Expansion of the Transport System

The missing links in the existing National Road Transport Network will be constructed.  The road maintenance condition mix quality will be improved from 42.7% good, 27.7% fair and 29.6% poor in 1999 to 43.7% good, 27.1% fair and 29.2% poor by the year 2000.

The provision of a mass transit rail system is being considered for the main urban centre which is Accra.

Sustainable fuel consumption

The banning of the importation of 10 year old vehicles and the higher customs tariff on the importation of large engine capacity vehicles, are all aimed at ensuring sustainable fuel consumption and efficiency levels in the country.

Reduction of Vehicle emissions

Policy of government is to reduce pollution emission levels from vehicles.  To this end, vehicle exhaust analyzer has been obtained for DVLA.  Measures are being put in place to train maintenance and vehicle inspectorate personnel in its use.

Development of alternative transport mode

Feasibility studies for the construction of mass light rail system to support the existing urban public road transport service has been effected.  The delay in undertaking this project is attributable to no-availability of financial resources.  Non-motorized facilities such as bicycle tracks have been constructed in some urban centres to promote the use of bicycles in towns.

Ghana government has supported financial credit provision to public road transport service providers in acquisition of new vehicles and upgrading their vehicle fleet. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

Members of the general public, stakeholders such as transportation experts, law enforcement officers, transport owners and operators serve as members of board of directors on a number of transportation organizations.  Stakeholders views are therefore, brought to bear on transportation issues.  A number of workshops and fora are conducted to discuss and solicit views from members of the general pubic and stakeholders on important or controversial transportation matters before transport policy formulation and finalization.  Periodically, people from diverse professional background are invited or co-opted into committees to tackle problems on request from the Ministry of Transport which has the overall responsibility of policy development.  The decentralization of process being pursued by government, has led to local government and local people to decide on the type and priority transportation project needed in their community.

Areas of higher population density and economic activity in the country and especially in the southern half of the country where the greatest service needs for transportation is required.  The conditions of some of the strategic road network and rural roads in other regions of the country also need to be made motorable through improved maintenance and rehabilitation works.

Members of the general public, vehicle owners and operators and their associations are party to decision-making in relation to transport policies, reviews, management and procedures.  The private sector also manages and provides public transport services.

Programmes and Projects   

Major programmes undertaken include the following:

Building and Road Research Institution has been assisting transport agencies in analyzing accident statistics, so that they can focus attention and resources to areas requiring remedial attention.

Traffic management devices such as traffic signals including the introduction of pedestrian phasing in the signal cycle has enhanced traffic management efficiency.  The installation of traffic signals has reduced traffic congestion and delays.  the construction of grade separated interchanges on strategic urban routes, the improvement in n the provision of road carriageway markings and road signs have all contributed to traffic management efficiency on the road network and road safety.


The existing road network is extensive, however, financial resources are required for the construction of missing links and the reconstruction of deteriorated sections of the road network.  The Volta lake which could be used as an important transport water-way linking the Southern half of the country to the North is poorly utilized.  Large sections of the lake are not navigable because of existence of debris shoals, and tree stumps in the lake.

No action has yet been undertaken to phase out the use of leaded fuel.

No attempt has yet been made to determine and evaluate the overall amount of vehicle emissions in the country. 


There has not been any specific measures taken to encourage or enhance the use of public transport services, however, periodically Government acts as a moderating influence on fare setting for public transport service provision.  No measures have been effected to encourage car pooling.  In the area of provision of non-motorized transport, cycle lanes have been provided in urban centres such as Accra and Tamale.

Public Transport is not adequately provided for in urban areas.  Existing public transport services should be made more efficient.  There is an urgent need for a regular and scheduled public transport services in urban centres.  There is a need to expedite the on-going maintenance programme for the existing road network.  Access to public transport service provision needs to be improved in rural areas.

The railway system.  the inadequacy of financial support needed for capacity building in certain sections of the transportation industry.  Lack of established mission standards, and there is no data on vehicular emissions.  

The health sector is the most vulnerable sector.  Ghana is promoting no-motorized transport scheme as the alternative technology.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Ministry and its Agencies undertakes sensitization and awareness programmes on the impact of transport on the environment.  Adverse impact on the environment from transportation activities and measures for abating them are impacted to all stakeholders such as contractors, transport operators through seminars, workshops and media campaign.  The present level of awareness campaigns and training programmes needs to be intensified.

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) as part of the on-going programme of promoting road safety education  awareness undertakes road safety campaigns through the media, safety awareness courses for driving schools, drivers, and police officers and other stakeholders in the transportation industry.

NRSC officials and Policy officers visit schools periodically to educate children on how to behave within a road environment especially the safe way for crossing the road.

In-house and out of the country training and refresher courses are provided for engineers and other experts as a means towards capacity building within the transport and traffic sector of the economy.  Seminars and workshops are also conducted for road contractors and other providers of transport infrastructure to enhance their skills and expertise.


For road sector, traffic data is collected by the various transport agencies responsible for the implementation of transportation schemes and measures or their commissioned agents.  The Police together with Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) collect information on road safety and accidents on the road network.  Accident data is analyzed by BRRI.  Results from these findings are for instance used as a basis for designing schemes and measures ameliorating accidents at hazardous spots.  With respect to air and maritime transport, their respective agencies such as the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Ghana Airways, the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, the Shippers Council and the Shipping Commission are responsible for ensuring that data is gathered for their respective functions.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available


Building infrastructure - source of funding are the consolidated fund and donor support which were $17.94m and $1122.22. respectively for 1998.  The Road Fund provided $75m for road maintenance for the same year.

Supply fund for fuel is from the consolidated fund

There is no financial support for Research and Development alternative fuels and transport.  

Finance is sourced from the consolidated fund for the enforcement of regulations and standards.

Introduction of road tolling, increases in fuel levy and road user fees as inputs for the road fund has been introduced for road maintenance investment.


Ghana periodically participates in international, bilateral, and regional conferences to discuss transportation issues and comply with international, regional conventions and protocols as signatories.  From time to time, the country receives technical assistance for transport project schemes.

Grants and loans are sought from international donor organizations and other donor countries.


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This information was provided by the Government of Ghana to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update:  April 2001.

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No information is available.

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